The all-important Golden Slipper 2018 barrier draw has been conducted with the two favourites to salute on Saturday drawing alongside each other with Written By and Sunlight in gates four and five respectively.
At Rosehill Gardens barriers play a crucial role and things could not have gone better for the two best fancied two-year-olds heading into this year’s Group 1 $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m).
Tony McEvoy’s flying filly Sunlight has retained favouritism in Golden Slipper betting at Ladbrokes.com.au on the capacity field, the daughter of Zoustar at $3.80 to make it six wins on the trot.
The fillies have won three of the past five editions of the Slipper and Sunlight ran the ideal trial winning last Saturday’s Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m).
That was her second on the trot at Rosehill and her second 1200m success following the two length $2 million Restricted Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast in mid-January.
Barrier five last produced a Golden Slipper winner back in 2008 with Sebring, the money on Sunlight and her hoop Luke Currie to be the next and salute for the punters for the first time since another Gai Waterhouse-trained champion Vancouver in 2015.
“I’m bloody happy I can tell you,” McEvoy said after Sunlight drew barrier five and stablemate Oohood came up with gate 11.
“Luke’s job is made a little bit easier by the draw.”
The danger and $5 second favourite in post-barrier Golden Slipper odds is the Grahame Begg-trained Written By who won last weekend’s Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in half a second quicker time than Sunlight in the Magic Night Stakes.
Unbeaten to date having won all four of his career starts, the son of Written Tycoon overcame wide barriers early this prep in Melbourne including gate 15 of 16 at Caulfield to take out the Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
He flew home last Saturday in his first Rosehill start from barrier three of 13 and will get a similarly favourable run from gate four in the Golden Slipper with young Jordan Childs in the saddle again.
Begg was full of confidence post-barriers and also full of praise for Childs.
“They’ve struck up this great partnership,” he said of Childs and Written By.
“He [Childs] is a very calm boy well ahead of his time with the ability he’s got and the poise.
“They really click together.”
Six-time Golden Slipper winning trainer Gai Waterhouse chases her seventh from barrier seven with I Am Invincible colt Santos racing for the first time since his Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) win in early March.
Santos won a subsequent Randwick trail on a Heavy (8) on March 15 and is out to do the Skyline – Slipper double without a run in between for the first time since the also Waterhouse-trained Dance Hero (2004).
“He’s a very good colt, he’s exactly what I look for when I’m purchasing colts,” Waterhouse said of Santos.
“Is he good enough for it? We’ll know on Saturday but he’s got an enormous turn of foot and an enormous will to win.”
Trainer Chris Waller’s two Golden Slipper horses did not have as much luck barrier-wise wither Performer and Fiesta drawn wide with gates 16 and 20 respectively before the emergencies come out.
Performer remains a single-figure hope at $8.50 however with jockey Hugh Bowman passed fit to reunite with the colt who threw him from the saddle in a horror fall from March 10 in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
Top five in Golden Slipper odds at Ladbrokes.com.au: Sunlight ($8.50), Written By ($5), Santos ($8), Performer ($8.50), Seabrook ($9).
Final 2018 Golden Slipper Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse – Saturday March 24, 2018
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier|
|1||1×111||WRITTEN BY||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||4|
|2||34×11||SANTOS||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||7|
|3||11||AYLMERTON||Jean Dubois||Tommy Berry||8|
|4||11×10||LONG LEAF||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Blake Shinn||19|
|5||1x1L||PERFORMER||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||16|
|6||1142||EF TROOP||Tony Gollan||Jason Collett||2|
|7||314||PRAIRIE FIRE||Mick Price||Mark Zahra||6|
|8||1162||SANDBAR||Brad Widdup||Christian Reith||3|
|9||112||ENBIHAAR||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster||15|
|10||3×11111||SUNLIGHT||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||5|
|11||121||ESTIJAAB||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||17|
|12||2×323||OOHOOD||Tony McEvoy||Zac Purton||11|
|13||32×12||FIESTA||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||20|
|14||1112||SIZZLING BELLE||Nick Olive||Kathy O’Hara||1|
|15||4×31||SEABROOK (NZ)||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||12|
|16||212574||SECRET LADY||Gary Portelli||Ben Melham||13|
|17e||14×74||QAFLIA||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||10|
|18e||11×34||GONGS||James Cummings||Tye Angland||14|
|19e||1×434||LEGEND OF CONDOR||Gerald Ryan||TBA||9|
|20e||42×23||SPIN||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||18|